Leith was originally called Inverleith meaning ‘the mouth of the Water of Leith’ and, during this time, comprised two different settlements each of which rested at either side of the river mouth and on the Southern shore of the Firth of Forth, the estuary immediately North of Edinburgh.
The first mention of this location by name appears in a charter which authorised the building of the Abbey at Holyrood.
Leith has been Edinburgh’s port since 1329 when Robert I gave control of the area to the City of Edinburgh’s magistrates.
We currently have evidence of continued settlement in Leith for over 800 years, further archaeological study being ongoing meaning that this date may be further extended into the past. Leith, then boasts a history longer than some nations and its importance cannot be underestimated.
The first known church in Leith was South Leith Parish Church. A church still stands in the same grounds, the foundation stone of which was laid on 11 April 1814. Originally this was a Catholic church but is now part of the Church of Scotland.
St. Mary's Star of the Sea (Stella Maris) is now the main Catholic church in Leith and we invite you to join us here to worship Our Lord.
St. Mary's is a relatively new building being constructed in 1852. It is served by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (www.oblatefamily.info) and is within the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh.